GVSU Adds Facilities

December 22, 2006
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ALLENDALE — As more students live on campus, the Grand Valley State University Board of Trustees has approved plans to construct an $18 million facility to meet the recreation needs of students.

“The building that we’re building is going to be used by our Movement Science classes, intercollegiate athletics, club sports and intramural programs,” said Tim Selgo, athletic director. “We need field space for all those activities, and this will provide us much-needed field space with a roof over it so it can be used around the clock and around the calendar, if need be.”

The Movement Sciences and Indoor Recreation Facility will be 138,000 square feet with a six-lane indoor track including nine sprint lanes; long jump and triple jump lane and pits; indoor pole vault lane and landing pad; and a 100-yard indoor sport turf field. The facility will also have three multi-purpose spaces for movement sciences and student activities, two support facility/activity support offices, student locker rooms, public restrooms, a training room, concession area, public seating for 800 and field level bleacher seating for 260.

Construction is planned to start in May 2007 and finish in August 2008.

Selgo said participation in club sports has risen 69 percent over the past five years, while participation in intramural sports has jumped 48 percent over that same time period. He attributed the increases to a larger number of students living on campus.

“Essentially, we’ve run out of space in our current facility to meet our demands,” he said.

With the new indoor facilities, Selgo said it will be a nice change to have access to fields throughout the entire year.

“It’s just going to be fantastic,” he said. “I think our students are going to love it.”

In addition to the athletic building, the GVSU board also has approved an expansion of Mackinac Hall.

The new academic addition will be 83,000 square feet with a designated Geographic Information Systems lab, 22 classrooms, 130 offices, 11 conference rooms, student study areas, a food service area and an exterior courtyard. The addition is designed to be LEED-certified and construction will begin in spring 2007. Completion of the building is anticipated for July 2008 for occupation in August 2008.

The total cost of the facility is estimated at $20 million.

Edwin Joseph, GIS coordinator and geography professor, said the new facility would allow expanded programs using the GIS lab.

“That space that we have now is going to really help our students in their preparation for applied work in GIS,” he said. “It will help me in my quest to further geographic research.”

Joseph said he prefers “action research” that is more hands-on when teaching and researching.

“There’s no better place to do it than having the right independent space where you can practice that,” he said of the lab, which will house a 48-inch plotter, GIS software and a base station that will broadcast data, as well as 24 computer stations and a research area.

“A lot of stuff is going to be going in that building,” he said.    

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